Israel set to launch new spy satellite

Military seeks to beef up intelligence gathering in the face of Iran’s pursuit of nuclear power.

In an effort to beef up intelligence gathering in the faceof Iran’s pursuit of nuclearpower, will send a new spy satellite into space in the coming months, The JerusalemPost has learned.

Called Ofek 8, the satellite will be launched from and is currently in itsfinal production stages at Israel Aerospace Industries. It will be placed in loworbit by the IAI-made Shavit launcher that was used for the Ofek 7 satellite in2007.
“This will significantly boost our intelligence-gathering capabilities,” adefense official said.
The Ofek 8 weighs about 300 kg. and can complete an orbit every 90 minutes.
While the new satellite will not represent a significant technological breakthrough– it will carry the same camera as the Ofek 7 – it will provide the IDF withgreater flexibility in utilizing its space assets.
The last satellite, the TecSar, was launched by Israel from India in 2008. Also developed by IAI, the TecSar can create high-resolution imagesusing advanced radar technology called Synthetic Aperture Radar, enabling it toproduce images in all weather conditions and even at night.
Israel also operates the Ofek 5 and receives services from the EROS B.
After the Ofek 8, the next spy satellite launched into space will be called theOpsat 3000, scheduled to be sent into space later this decade and to be capableof unprecedented optical remote sensing at extremely high resolution.